User talk:DanHobley

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Hello, DanHobley, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{helpme}} before the question. Again, welcome!

In particular, thank you so much for your rewrite of geomorphology. It looks a world better! Awickert (talk) 06:00, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Dan, I've been working on some Mars articles for wikipedia for a little while, and I wanted to compliment you on the outflow channel article. Frankly I've found a lot of the Mars articles wanting from a scientific standpoint. It's good to see some high quality work here. I've slowly been trying to rewrite and expand some of the Mars topics. Your standard is going to be hard to live up to! Schaffman (talk) 20:13, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Valley Network Article[edit]

Hi Dan

I looked over your article on valley networks. Once again, it’s refreshing to see a Mars article written by someone with a deep knowledge of the subject. I hope you can continue to add your expertise to the Mars project here. I know you’re extremely busy with you real postdoc work. Most of my comments on the article are questions I have myself, and may or may not be suitable to address in the article. If I tried to add everything I wanted to add in the articles I’ve written, I’d never finish them. Anyway, here are some thoughts:

  • You asked me to review particularly the last part of the article. When you say: “failings in the parameterization of CO2 clouds,” I assume you mean problems in the Kasting (1991) model in which a dense CO2 atmosphere forms CO2 clouds that cool the surface below freezing. If so, maybe you could state this explicitly in paragraph 2 of scenario 3 (Warm, Wet Mars). Something like (my wording here): Unfortunately, models of an early dense CO2 atmosphere predict that CO2 clouds would form, thus reducing the magnitude of the greenhouse effect and causing surface temperatures to fall below the freezing point of water. (Ref., Kasting, J.F., 1991, Icarus, 94, 1–13.)
  • In scenarios 1 and 2, you might want to mention that the heads of many valley networks occur at high points near crater rims where discharge from aquifers is unlikely because of the extremely limited area for recharge, low hydraulic head, etc.
  • Boyce (2008) differentiates valley networks from so called trunk or longitudinal valleys (e.g. Nirgal Vallis). Since this was a popular work (Smithsonian Book of Mars), he didn’t provide journal references. I’m curious to know how these valleys are related to the type valley networks (e.g., Warrego), both in morphology, ages, possible existence of transitional forms, etc. (Maybe that’s another article, I don’t know.)
  • Finally, you might consider adding to your “Form” section that the longitudinal profiles of terrestrial stream valley networks are concave upward, with steep slopes at the source and shallow slopes distally. Yet on Mars, the longitudinal profiles tend to decrease linearly, following regional slope (Carr, 2006, Surface of Mars, p. 140). This would be an argument against a prolonged period of global rainfall and fluvial erosion in the Noachian(?)

Overall, I think the article is great as stands. My knowledge of geomorphology is limited to undergrad courses I took years ago, so when it comes to this subject, you are the true expert here. I apologize if any of my comments are based on a misunderstanding of the subject matter. I’m pleased to see that you are working with Alan Howard. I think his paper with Bob Craddock on The Case for Rainfall on early Mars is a classic. I read it a while ago, so I’m not sure how their arguments have stood up over that last decade. But I liked the overall philosophy: let’s look at the geologic evidence and see where it leads.

Would you mind allowing me to correspond with you via email? It’s a pleasure to exchange ideas with someone who is active in the planetary science field. My email is

Again, excellent article and best wishes.

Tom Schaffman (talk) 16:00, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Quick question for you[edit]

Hi Dan. I'm thinking about expanding the stub on Enipeus Vallis, located between Alba Patera and Tempe Terra. The only reference material I could find was a 1995 LPSC abstract and a 2001 geologic Map of Tempe/Mareotis region, both by Henry Moore. Off the top of your head, do you know on any other paper that could help? Michael Carr (Water on Mars, 1996) has mapped the Vallis as a valley network, but it has features to me that resemble an outflow channel (anastomosing channels, streamlined islands). Cheers and best, Tom. Schaffman (talk) 18:55, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Dan!
Schaffman (talk) 14:16, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Request to review brief section on Alba Mons article.[edit]

Hi Dan. I just completed an article on Alba Mons. It includes a brief (two paragraph) description of valley networks and gullies on the volcano's northern flank. I don't know how familiar you are volcano valleys on Mars. but thought you could take a look at it to see if I'm not missing something major that should be included or info that needs updating. My main concern at this point is to keep the article as short and as simple as possible. To this end, I'm still editing, and the article is in quasi-draft form. Thanks for your help--Tom. Schaffman (talk) 14:04, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

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There is a requested move, if u didn't see it yet: levee → dyke, is this really a geologist term? Cheers --Chris.urs-o (talk) 13:03, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Hi Chris, thanks for letting me know. I've stuck in my 2 cents worth on the discussion. Punchline: dyke is not appropriate for the technical content in the article; levee is correct. DanHobley (talk) 22:39, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
The discussion is a lil bit weird, I may say ;) Cheers --Chris.urs-o (talk) 05:39, 5 September 2012 (UTC)


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Hello, DanHobley. You have new messages at RockMagnetist's talk page.
Message added 17:18, 17 September 2012 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

RockMagnetist (talk) 17:18, 17 September 2012 (UTC)


For your good and dedicated work. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:52, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks! I'm going to lurk for a while now, and just let those changes get some eyes on them. Someone come get me is anything exciting is happening.DanHobley (talk) 21:59, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Editors Barnstar Hires.png The Editor's Barnstar
For doing what an editor is supposed to be doing on Lake Michigan–Huron. Tijfo098 (talk) 22:01, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

I second that. I know you felt frustrated by the initial response, but you did more for the article than everyone else put together. RockMagnetist (talk) 01:39, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

I third it. Excellent work. Pfly (talk) 04:23, 18 September 2012 (UTC)


You accidentally double posted part of a post, so I removed it here: [1]. I compared the text beforehand to make sure it was an exact duplicate. IRWolfie- (talk) 23:20, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks! My bad. DanHobley (talk) 23:21, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Special Barnstar Hires.png The Special Barnstar
I couldn't find a "Never underestimate the power of moving water" barnstar, and I'm too lazy to make one. If I ever meet you in real life, a beverage of your choice is on me. I wish I could be more encouraging about Wikipedia, but I'm cynical, and not sure why I bother. But thanks for the reality. Curtis Clark (talk) 00:57, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

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Thanks Dan. Stub looks good. I'd meant to continue with the Amazonian after doing Noachian and Hesperian, but started a new job and sort of ran out of steam with the writing. Glad you're still working on these articles. Your work is top-notch. Cheers, Schaffman (talk) 11:19, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

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DYK for Sadler effect[edit]

Gatoclass (talk) 18:37, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Habitability of present day Mars surface[edit]

Hi Dan, don't want to talk about this on the project talk pages right now because of BI, but do you know of any recent research that says that cosmic radiation is a severe limitation on life on the surface?

In a list of 14 factors in order of severity for the microhabitats, cosmic radiation is listed as 10th. The cosmic radiation levels on the surface have been directly measured by Curiosity and found to be similar to the interior of the ISS.

When it was thought that the surface was viable at most only at high obliquity, it was a limiting factor because life would need to remain dormant and viable for millions of years.

But many of the current micro-habitats, if they exist, recur in the same location every year. I've only seen it discussed as a potential issue for the recurrent slope linea, since it's possible that they might recur only over long timescales. The argument was that if they recurred regularly, the source of the water would get depleted (and wasn't thought to be conclusive).

This doesn't apply to deliquescing and efflorescing salt as they get moisture from the humidity of the atmosphere at suitable conditions of temperature and humidity, so the source of the water won't run out.

The problem I have with the habitability assessment section is that it gives a general argument against habitability, and dates back to before the Phoenix lander. A modern argument should explicitly target the modern suggestions for micro-habitats. To my knowledge, apart from the RSL discussion, there is no such published source.

There are many issues discussed with the present day habitability scenarios, for instance, the high salinity, and the extremely cold temperatures of some of the eutectic mixtures most likely to be liquid on Mars. UV radiation is an issue for habitats on the very surface of the soil. To my knowledge cosmic radiation is never mentioned as a significant issue.

Am happy to be corrected if you know of any published source that says this. Am actually doing another literature search right now in connection with an article I'm writing for science20. Not turned up anything yet.Robert Walker (talk) 07:17, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

I disagree with you strongly on this. The consensus opinion for the habitability of modern Mars - as a whole - remains that it is "extremely hostile" to life, on grounds of surface chemistry, lack of water, and both cosmic and UV radiation, all acting together. I'm thinking here as an excellent example of the final chapter of Carr's Surface of Mars (publ. 2006, so post MER, pre Phoenix). Note that author does specifically cite both kinds of radiation, per your previous concerns expressed elsewhere. The fairly thorough referencing on BI's text over at Water on Mars bears this out. I totally agree that microclimates can ameliorate chemistry and water concerns, but the radiation remains an unresolved issue for these.
I don't really understand why you are insisting on references post-Phoenix. The radiative environment hasn't changed since then...? The lack of refs indicates the consensus on this *is* settled (per WP:CHEESE); only papers which argue against this would be regarded as novel at this point. The "old" refs (<7 years!?) are enough.
I haven't sought out the paper you talk about which lists the limitations on surface life in order, nor do I really intend to (this is already costing me time I should be spending elsewhere...). For me the important thing to take away from this is that radiative environment does appear on that list and limits habitability, not that it's tenth. (You wouldn't eat the tenth most deadly poison on a list of deadly poisons, would you?) If it's really a big deal, and that paper does set out to argue radiation isn't important, then that would need to be laid out very clearly in a future article. But I sincerely doubt that it does - or you would have lead with that in these ongoing discussions.
Note I'm not saying that we've ruled out surface life, nor that some authors have claimed habitability for the microenvironments you've talked about. It just remains highly unlikely. (From a more cynical perspective as well, note it's in the interests of the microclimates guys to inflate their claims of habitability, as it gives their work higher impact. My (POV) impression is that the current state of the term "habitable" is that you can get away with calling an environment habitable on Mars if you haven't made any direct observations of that specific rock/brine/whatever that actively contradict habitability. I note the Curiosity team has been describing their grey rocks in Gale as habitable because they don't have any constraint on the radiation or, e.g., possible toxic chemistries, not that these things aren't possible.) I'm fine with having some material talking about these ideas in (appropriate) articles, but you can't tear down the established theory for habitability just from a lack of refs from the past ~5 years.
There are also some strong Gaian arguments for the non-existence of life on Mars today (i.e., if there was life, it would be really, really obvious, and would be actively modifying the Martian environment in detectable ways), but I'm happy to acknowledge that those tend towards meta-arguments that aren't as convincing or appropriate in this forum. But they're certainly interesting if you wanted to look them up.
I hope this makes my position on this issue clear. DanHobley (talk) 15:52, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I can see you are sceptical about it, and I understand, because everyone was sceptical about it back then. What has changed since the Phoenix lander is that the researchers started to take these micro-habitats seriously, when before no-one even knew that they were a possibility. Almost all research before phoenix assumed dormant life only on the surface.
Once they started to think about microhabitats on the surface, it sparked a huge amount of research into all those factors that used to be thought biocidal. When experiments were carried out most of the soils on Mars were only mildly biotoxic. It turned out that many micro-organisms are more resistant to UV light than expected, and UV light can be shielded by a thin layer of soil or rock that also lets light through for photosynthesis. Some arctic and alpine lichens can tolerate the direct UV light due to the protection of melanin parietin and usnic acid. The Gaia arguments don't apply for these microhabitats since they would be so sparse and slowly metabolizing like the dry valleys in Antarctica, so wouldn't significantly change the atmosphere. You would have cycles but much slower ones than on Earth. For instance, long term deposition of ammonia on the Mars surface by micrometeorites could be enough to supply nitrogen.
For the 14 point list, check it out here: Biotoxicity of Mars soils: 1. Dry deposition of analog soils on microbial colonies and survival under Martian conditions
The thing is, BI hasn't represented it correctly. If you read it carefully, it's not a list of biotoxic factors. It is a list of factors for discussion. Right at the start of his discussion he rules out cosmic radiation as unlikely to be significantly biotoxic to terrestrial life on Mars. Here he discusses which of the 14 factors are likely to be biocidal. He rules out the cosmic radiation right away.

Solar particle events and galactic cosmic rays were considered external factors that occur infrequently or at low dosage, respectively. And seven factors involved potentially biotoxic edaphic factors widely distributed in localized sites on the surface. Based on the studies cited above, the edaphic factors considered most likely to be biotoxic or inhibitory to terrestrial life on Mars include (not in priority): (1) salinity, pH, and Eh of available liquid water; (2) oxidizing soils created by soil chemical reacitons and not y UV-induced processes (e.g., creation of oxidants by the anoxic hydration of pyrite; Davila et al., 2008); (3) high salt levels; (4) presence of heavy metals; (5) acidic conditions in some soils; (6) perchlorates; and (7) presence of UV-induced volatile oxidants

Do you see? The paper says pretty much the opposite of BI's paraphrase. If not sure of that interpretation, try listening to the talk, where he ranks the factors according to importance with cosmic radiation as the tenth.
Growth and Ultrastructure of Bacteria in 7 mbar, 0° C, and CO2-enriched Anoxic Atmospheres: Implications for the Forward Contamination of Mars by Andrew C. Schuerger
For the micrometeorite supply of ammonia, and the shielding effect of dust for UV while letting light through for photosynthesis, and other ideas about habitability see Chris McKay's excellent video presentation: Energy Sources and Metabolic Rates for Life on Mars Robert Walker (talk) 23:11, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
That is a good paper, and certainly will form a good basis for articles. I'm not reading it totally as you do, however. The authors remain very up front about the deadly effects of the UV at the actual surface ("Results from the current study support the conclusion that protection from solar UV irradiation on Mars remains a dominant factor in determining long-term survival of transported species, and are consistent with numerous reports on the biocidal effects of UV on microbial survival under Martian conditions.") They also seem to conflict with you in their discussion on the nature of that 14 point list, which isn't actually in this paper per se ("Two recent studies proposed that at least 14 biocidal factors may persist on the surface of Mars" - they certainly haven't declared any of them unimportant here). In fact their list of severity of hazards presented here goes (most hazardous) "UV irradiation>desiccation>hypobaria>soil geochemistries>CO2-enriched anoxic atmospheres" (least hazardous) (see discussion). That said, this paper is making a solid case that there might be some very specific microclimates on Mars near (a little below?) the surface that could support life, given the shielding by soil that appears to be demonstrated here. But they would have to be perennially wet, and under the ground, and highly specialized. Also, that hypobaria has me worried - you can't hide from that at the surface, and they don't really dwell on it in this paper.
Nonetheless, and as I note above, there's certainly a good NPOV article to be had out of this material. Just make sure you don't have your WP:OR hat on when you help to put it together. The way to go to make this NPOV will be to adopt the kind of text BI favours as the top of the section, headed something like "The longstanding consensus view is that the surface of Mars is 'extremely hostile' to life... [etc etc]" But then, you have a section underneath which begins something like "Nonetheless, some researchers have used soil data primarily obtained by the Pheonix lander to argue that there are some restricted microenvironments on modern Mars which could remain moderately habitable." Then list the reasons why they've argued this (i.e., UV shielding by soil; recent suggestions of seasonal wetting, infrequency/low dose of cosmic rays and particles, etc etc). You could then maybe list some of the specific places where people have suggested (carefully cited!!!) that there might be such microenvironments, if people have gone that far. Note "under the surface" won't cut it; "under the surface, adjacent to ice patches in the midlatitudes" might (...if that's true, I'm just spitballing here). Then something about a possible deep biosphere maybe, which it's my understanding is way less controversial. I'd also like to see a discussion of the Gaia theory for dead Mars, if you can find the refs too, as I think that's super interesting. And you need to be ultra clear that we are definitely, definitely talking about microenvironments here - no-one is arguing at the moment that the vast majority of the hyperarid, low pressure Martian surface is anything other than dead as a doornail.
Again, I'm happy to review any draft text that you and a putative additional author can pull together. DanHobley (talk) 00:15, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Okay great, thanks for your support. Yes I was thinking, it might help a bit to do it as an AfC in my user space first, then if someone reviews it and recommends it as a main space article, that's better than creating it myself right away. There is lots of material to answer your questions. Yes the Martian UV radiation is treated as highly biohazardous for most lifeforms. What I say about martian UV comes from other sources, for instance the remarkable series of experiments using lichen from the Arctic permafrost for the German Aerospace Company DLR, and various Expose E experiments on the ISS. The thing about UV protected by a thin layer of dust that lets light through for photosynthesis is from the McKay talk.
I've actually just done an article for my column, so it would be a case of writing something like this with an encyclopedia tone of presentation. I've been working on it for some time and just finished it yesterday, as you can see it goes through it historically from the C19 onwards, and describes the pre 2008 views on the matter.
Of course the earlier historical material wouldn't be appropriate here as already covered adequately in the Life on Mars page and elsewhere in wikiedia - but a short introductory section on the pre phoenix views on the matter would be a good idea, I agree especially as most readers are probably more familiar with that than the more recent research: Might there be Microbes on the Surface of Mars?. It describes all the main micro-habitats that I've seen discussed so far. I would combine that with the deleted material from the Water on Mars page, backed up to my user space here: possibility of Mars having enough water to support life, and other material I have by way of citations to follow up.
I'm not sure that it is correct to say that any present day researchers on life on Mars regard it as extremely hostile to all life (is of course to most life). To give that as present day opinion of anyone I would need papers published by them in the last few years, as many researchers will have changed their point of view on the matter post Phoenix, and post the recent experiments by DLR and experiments with various micro-organisms in the present day habitability conference. Without recent evidence of this, I would present it as historical. I've seen the suggestion that the habitats may be "habitable but uninhabited" - that is an intriguing suggestion of the Edinburgh astrobiologist Charles Cockell and is a notable suggestion that should be included as a present day POV.
Yes all of them are microhabitats. Yes, totally, if they exist, it is a marginal habitat, similar to the Atacama Desert and the Murdo dry valleys in Antarctica, quite probably less habitable than them. I'll try to find some material on the Gaia + present day Mars stuff.
No imminent plans to start this article. Especially if there is any chance it will be subjected to an AfD anything like the last one I went through, with opponents passionately opposed to its creation.Robert Walker (talk) 10:22, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Schuerger (the author) acknowledges the lethality of ionizing radiation happens under long term exposure, and that is why he did not do it for only 7 days, and the chamber is limited to only 4 variables of 10. A Wikipedia article under Robert's eternal misrepresentation of bioradiation will easily be deleted with Schuerger's own words or with any other paper on the subject. -BatteryIncluded (talk) 04:24, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

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Merge discussion for Martian Gullies [edit]

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Panspermia - Is it Fringe moves to Mainstream - or not yet[edit]

User:DanHobley I realize you might not be in touch with the latest developments in the Kepler Mission. The facts are that the estimate of the number of exoplanets in our Milky Way Galaxy (like earth) has increased from 50, to 17B , to 144B in jst 5 years This is quite profound. What it means is that Panspermia starts to make sense.

ie can you believe that 144B planets are like earth - with water and oceans , with mountain, fiords and beaches. But with no animals, no plants, no bacteria and no viruses. Sounds unlikely right.

That is what Panspermia and "Life is a Cosmic Phenomenon" is all about. All evidence points to this being incorrect. But your Wikipedia gatekeeper are not willing to discuss the possibility that "Life is everywhere in the galaxy".

They are not willing to even allow the wikipage to be structured as "best practice" for a Hypothesis. Help. I do feel one editor in particular is treating me very badly. BatteryIncluded. I am not sure why he keeps deleting cited information. Does he have special editor rights. What is his IP address? Do you know who he really is? BSmith821 (talk) 04:21, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi BSmith. Thanks for the note. I agree with you completely that the panspermia hypothesis is interesting, but part of your problem is that this kind of arguing won't meet many editor's standards here. Looking at some of your editing history, the problem is not that the facts you are putting into the article are wrong, but that you are trying to use them to argue for a point that isn't actually made in the sources you cite. This constitutes WP:OR. Whether I, you, or indeed any other editor believes the panspermia hypothesis should be totally irrelevant here; the WP "gatekeepers" are assessing the quality of the references you provide in supporting what you say, not the thing you say itself. This is an important distinction! If you continue to argue on this basis, even on the article talk pages, you'll probably quite quickly rub people up the wrong way (it looks like this might have already started to happen over at Panspermia). Just to let you know what appears to be happening here.
FYI, BatteryIncluded is a longstanding editor in the planetary wikiprojects, and his edits are normally of a high quality. I believe he does have some special editor privileges, which you should probably interpret as an endorsement by the wider community of his judgement as an editor. As regards him personally, I know absolutely nothing, though I've always personally found his judgement to be sound. It's worth noting he can be a bit, uh, let's say "spiky" if he thinks you don't make high quality edits, though. He's also just been dealing with a whole bunch of fairly stressful disputes with another editor, and he might be less inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt than normal because of this (though of course, I am speculating here). If you have a specific issue with a revert or small number of reverts he's made, I'm guessing that if you post him a talk message asking why he did it, and indicating that you're a new editor and don't fully grasp all the guidelines, he'll give you a fair response. DanHobley (talk) 04:39, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi BSmith, I'm the other editor was just about to remove this talk page from my watch list, and noticed this. BI, though otherwise excellent editor, has what I see as a dogmatic view on one topic, not willing to acknowledge recent research. I have posted many examples of recent papers where the authors state their belief that there are microhabitats on Mars that are habitable for Earth life, and there was a whole conference earlier this year with many speakers presenting that view, but he refuses to let their conclusions be presented in Wikipedia, and edits it to say that present day life on the surface of Mars is impossible due to cosmic radiation, something none of the papers say. Because he has such a good reputation, then other editors accept his assessment but in this he is incorrect. He got very angry with me and refuses to talk about it to me any more. The paper he cites as counter argument dates from before 2008 and is only applicable for dormant life and none of these modern papers on habitability of Mars cite it.
I'm interested in Panspermia - the modern version, not the Hoyle / Wickramasinghe, and would be interested in working on this article a bit myself but maybe in the circumstances should not just now. Have seen quite a few articles recently supporting modern Panspermia ideas and that's without researching it particularly, just general science news stories. So there must be a lot of material on it. I think the article could be improved with a clearer distinction between the modern Panspermia which I would agree has moved to mainstream now, and the more fringe ideas, especially Wickramasinghe seems to have a reputation for publishing results with strong conclusions on panspermia based on rather little or dubious evidence. Of course other ground breaking ideas that were later shown to be true such as continental drift were similarly fringe research when first presented. It doesn't mean all his conclusions are wrong, and a few of them have now become mainstream but based on different evidence. Robert Walker (talk) 08:31, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
This may be a better source for wikipedia than your professor (he has to publish his results first for you to use them here): 60 Billion Earth-like Planets Could Exist in Milky Way Galaxy, academic paper: STABILIZING CLOUD FEEDBACK DRAMATICALLY EXPANDS THE HABITABLE ZONE OF TIDALLY LOCKED PLANETS. The new thing is that by modelling clouds the researchers found that a tidally locked planet within the habitable zone of a red dwarf could have liquid water, so greatly expanding the possibility for habitable planets. It would have a "year" of a month, and one side always light and other side always dark, is of interest because red dwarf stars are so numerous. Robert Walker (talk) 08:52, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
And this is the more conservative estimate without using the clouds (Academic paper. This study estimates 6%+-3% of red dwarfs have Earth like planets based on 3 discovered so far out of 64 systems detected with planets and 3897 M Dwarfs studied using the transit method, yielding estimate of 4.5 billion. They observe that G type stars are harder to examine in the same way because of the longer time between transits, amongst other reasons so may be a while before we get an equally accurate estimate for G type Earths like our own. I'm not sure whether to post about this on the talk page for Panspermia due to the past history of my interactions with BI. But you may find this useful and there are many other papers on this, just try a google search for the topic. Robert Walker (talk) 09:28, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Robert Walker NASA's kepler expert Ravi Kopparapu did published the 144B estimate in Astrophysical Journal letters in March. Here is the public version of the paper: or
thanks for your feedback. A couple of things. I challenge you to find another clearly defined "model" for Panspermia. The Hoyle-Wickramasinghe model has a clear hypothesis, with three propositions. Can you provide a ref for another model which is more than simply a subset of the H-W Model. I hope this work can be preserved here in the Talk section as it keeps getting deleted.

Panspermia is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids, comets and planetoids.

The Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model of the Panspermia hypothesis defines the following propositions to guide the investigation[1][2] [3]:

  1. that dormant viruses and desiccated DNA/RNA can survive unprotected in interplanetary space (RadioPanspermia) [4]
  2. that the seeds of life can survive protected from cosmic rays in asteroids, comets and meteors (LithoPanspermia)[5] [6] [7]
  3. that the seeds of life are promulgated from solar system to solar system by a process of comet and asteroid collision with planets and matter ejection from planet to local planets and moons; and then onwards and outwards from that solar system to an adjacent solar system [6][8]

In the above propositions of the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model, the "seeds of life" include biological microparticles such as bacteria, viruses, spores and pollen. This specifically includes:

  1. desiccated and/or partially inactivated DNA/RNA [7][9] [10]
  2. live, dormant or fossilized non-cellular life (viruses)[5][9][10][7][8][11] [12]
  3. live, dormant or fossilized cellular life (bacteria, archaea) [12][13]

i.e. In the more general Panspermia Hypothesis these "seeds of life" are not as clearly defined as in the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model. Also in the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model, LithoPanspermia includes comets. It proposes that comets are the major promulgation "carrier" of the seeds of life, especially from solar system to solar system, and proposes that the center of comets is water, not ice, an ideal environment for bacteria and viruses.

The most contentious issue around the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model of the Panspermia hypothesis is a corollary of their first 2 propositions that viruses and bacteria continue to enter the earth's atmosphere from space and are responsible for many of the major epidemics[14] [15] [16] .

I contacted the scientist managing the estimates - and he calculated just for my request 144B earth-like planets around sun-like stars.

How is this : “we have estimated, using the latest available Kepler Mission data, that 48% of low mass stars have Earth-size planets in their habitable zones.

So if we want to get a 'number' out of this, assuming that there are 400 billion stars of all types in our Galaxy, about 75% are low mass stars. That is about 300 billion low mass stars in our Galaxy. Then my estimate (which is validated by other researchers) shows that nearly 48% of these 300 billion low mass stars have Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone. That is, about 144 billion potentially habitable Earth-sized planets around low mass stars. And this is a conservative estimate ! There could be more.

Note that these billions and billions are not actually exact numbers but only estimates. Since we don't know EXACTLY how many stars AND PLANETS are in our Galaxy, this number (144 billion) changes a bit.”, Ravi Kopparapu.

I do agree that Talk:BatteryIncluded is doing his noble best and is doing a good job. BUT - He does seem worried that I am too biased in support of Chandra Wickramasinghe.

I have studied his life time work and it is pretty amazing. This does make me distressed when the editors seem insistent on promoting what I feel is a libelous position on his life time work. I wonder how they would treat this amazing catalog of papers and books if his name was "Nigel Jones" and he was born in Boston or Palo Alto. BSmith821 (talk) 06:35, 3 August 2013 (UTC) BSmith821 (talk) 06:35, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I don't take kindly to your insinuation of racism here. I have advised you as to why your approach is not appropriate to Wikipedia repeatedly. It is because of your repeated violation of WP:SYNTH and WP:OR. It has nothing to do with CW himself. You already run the risk of being accused of being a single purpose account. Continuing to ignore these warnings will get you in admin trouble sooner rather than later. I would appreciate a retraction of your implication that other editors and I have been racially biased. DanHobley (talk) 17:11, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I can only echo the comments above from DanHobley and an apology is due from BSmith821 for those remarks. I have to say that most of these contributions should be on the article Talk page and not here. I also repeat that BSmith821's contributions to the article are very close to advertising C Wickramasinghe's view, rather than the neutral tone that Wikipedia rightly demands. The repeated violations of WP:SYNTH, WP:OR and single purpose account will be referred to a administrator if these violations continue. As a Reviewer, I want to see a Wikipedia where contributions are:- neutral, well-sourced, not plugging one fringe view and that Talk page comments are reasonable - without any racism comments that will surely get the user blocked if these continue. Regards, David, David J Johnson (talk) 18:10, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
David J Johnson (talk) DanHobley (talk) I am not sure where you feel I accused you (or anyone) of racism? please clarify. If I did, it is not like me - I am a Canadian. We don't "do" racism :-) If you took it that way them I most certainly apologise. It was not intended. More likely I might have been frustrated at losing another vast amount of research. Yesterday I diligently researched all the 5 papers so far published on the Polonnaruwa Meteorite providing full citings for each. The work was immediately reversed with a statement that the citings did not match the point being made. But I was providing refs to the 5 actual papers - so the reader could see the actual papers. I also tried to make thee point that the 5th paper covered tests done in Germany and USA and was started well before the Bad Astronomer wrote his disparaging blog article. The Wikipage however has reverted back to stating that the 5th series of tests were done in response to the criticism. I did prove this was not the case but this has not been allowed to be stated and left in the section. Incorrectly I believe.
over the past 2 weeks I have simply been providing citations where requested.
David J Johnson If you really can find other models, then I do think we should clearly list all these various Panspermia Models in a new section called Panspermia - The Models. The one thing that might be unique in this H-W model is their definition of "the seeds of life" - ie they include biological microparticles such as bacteria, viruses, spores and pollen (and live, dormant or fossilized). There might be other scientists who have limited their "seeds of life" or limit the promulgation method (note both Radiopanspermia and Lithopanspermia are included in the H-W Model) but I think not. I believe if we did a survey of scientists who have published papers on Panspermia (or citing any Panspermia paper) you would find 95% support the H-W Model. But I could be wrong.

By the way - my jibe about Nigel in Boston, was from a Canadian aimed at an American. Nothing to do with race. I was implying that you yanks really like your top scientists to be American or at least living in America. I challenge you to find an American scientist who will state his own Panspermia Model. BUT - I believe NASA is close to moving their missions focus from the "Search for Water" to the "Search for Life". That will be the moment US academics will no longer fear losing their grants and Panspermia will become mainstream. BSmith821 (talk) 20:07, 7 August 2013 (UTC) BSmith821 (talk) 20:07, 7 August 2013 (UTC) BSmith821 (talk) 20:07, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi again BSmith. Thanks for clarifying that your comment was merely disparaging to US academic practices, rather than (as I read it), suggesting that my and others' objections to some of your edits were due to some form of prejudice to CW's Sri Lankan background. Appears to have just been a misunderstanding. For the record, I'm actually British, so no lumping me in with the yanks please!
As for the rest of this, it seems way more appropriate for the talk page of the article in question. I'd advise you move it or duplicate it there, so other editors can see what's going on. DanHobley (talk) 00:34, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

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DYK for Terrain softening[edit]

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I first came across problems with this editor when I tried to add sourced material of a notable event to Genetically modified food controversies. He reverted it claiming things like the article was too large already, it was mentioned in brief in another section, and it didn't belong in the health section. I then created it to stand alone at Taco Bell GMO recall. I gave up discussing it at Genetically modified food controversies because I thought that discussion would just be a big drama fest. He then edited the new article without reading sources, stating "...and I am already familiar with the incident.", and also including false information that was not in any source. He later explained these errors but you can judge those explanations on your own as I don't wish to comment on them further. To me he seems to have a WP:OWN fixation with GMO articles including the new one I created. This and other details are mostly at Talk:Taco Bell GMO recall and User_talk:Canoe1967#GMO_phone_call--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:02, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi User:Canoe1967 - generally it is good form to notify an editor when you are having a discussion about him or her. I don't agree with your characterization of me or my work above, and am happy to discuss further with anybody; I continue to encourage you to stop attacking me on Talk pages, and to bring this to an appropriate venue. DanHobley, thanks for making the inquiry. Jytdog (talk) 16:27, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Geologic time and atmospheric carbon[edit]

Thank you for adding the Royer souce here. It seems an appropriate source to justify the statement made in the table. I remain concerned about the note, however. The MOS guideline for wikilinks says: "Make links only where they are relevant and helpful in the context..." The links given in that note are fairly general and, without a great deal of reading, do not help the reader understand the relationship between atmospheric carbon and geologic epochs. If you wish to keep a note, would you be able to find links to specific sections within articles that explain relevant concepts? Otherwise, I would suggest eliminating the note. Sunray (talk) 21:08, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

I cleaned up the note. Should be better now. DanHobley (talk) 00:12, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Looks much better now. Thanks for doing that. Sunray (talk) 17:00, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
No problem! DanHobley (talk) 19:55, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Happy New Year DanHobley![edit]

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Happy New Year!
Hello DanHobley:
Thanks for all of your contributions to improve the encyclopedia for Wikipedia's readers, and have a happy and enjoyable New Year! Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 16:30, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

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Send New Year cheer by adding {{subst:Happy New Year 2014}} to user talk pages with a friendly message.


It is good to see you back at Mars-related articles after a long absence. Welcome back! BatteryIncluded (talk) 17:20, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks BI! I'll try to be a bit more present... DanHobley (talk) 17:34, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
New paper: [2], [3]. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 07:25, 9 October 2015 (UTC)


HelloDanHobley, Regarding: 09:42, 15 October 2015‎ DanHobley (talk | contribs)‎ . . (176,897 bytes) (-458)‎ . . (Undid revision 685812817 by CuriousMind01 (talk) Look again: this text is preserved - exactly - in the new caption on the imagemap itself) (undo | thank)

I did find the text on the map, so I understand your edit now. I did re-add the subheading, which I think is valuable to readers, and made minor edits, a pronoun to noun, a wikilink. Thank you,--CuriousMind01 (talk) 14:36, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Looks good. DanHobley (talk) 14:42, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Rauf, K; Wickramasinghe, C (2010). "Evidence for biodegradation products in the interstellar medium". Int.J.Astrobiol 9 (1): 29–34.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help);
  2. ^ Wickramasinghe, C. (2010). "The astrobiological case for our cosmic ancestry". International Journal of Astrobiology 9 (2): 119–129. 
  3. ^ Wickramasinghe, C. (2011). "Bacterial morphologies supporting cometary panspermia: a reappraisal". International Journal of Astrobiology 10 (1): 25–30. 
  4. ^ Secker, Jeff; Paul S. Wesson, James R. Lepock (26 Jul 1996). "Astrophysical and Biological Constraints on Radiopanspermia" (PDF). PMID 11540166. Retrieved 3 August 2013.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (|date= suggested) (help)
  5. ^ a b Hoyle, Fred (1981). Comets - a vehicle for panspermia. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Co. p. 227. 
  6. ^ a b Wallis, M.K.; Wickramasinghe N.C. (2004). "Interstellar transfer of planetary microbiota". Mon. Not.R. astr. Soc. 348: 52–57.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help);
  7. ^ a b c Hoyle, Fred (1985). Living Comets. Cardiff: University College, Cardiff Press. 
  8. ^ a b Napier, W.M. (2004). "A mechanism for interstellar panspermia". Mon. Not.R. astr. Soc. 348: 46–51. 
  9. ^ a b Wickramasinghe, Chandra (June 2011). "Viva Panspermia". The Observatory. 
  10. ^ a b Wesson, P (2010). "Panspermia, Past and Present: Astrophysical and Biophysical Conditions for the Dissemination of Life in Space". Sp. Sci.Rev. 1-4 156: 239–252. 
  11. ^ Hoyle, Fred (1981). Evolution from Space. London: J.M. Dent & Sons. 
  12. ^ a b Hoyle, Fred; Wickramasinghe, N.C. (1982). "Proofs that Life is Cosmic" (PDF). Mem. Inst. Fund. Studies Sri Lanka. Retrieved 3 August 2013.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  13. ^ Hoyle, Fred; Wickramasinghe, C. (1986). "The case for life as a cosmic phenomenon". Nature 322 (509).  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help);
  14. ^ Hoyle, Fred (1979). Diseases from Space. London: J.M. Dent & Sons. 
  15. ^ Hoyle, Fred; Wickramasinghe, N.C (1990). "Influenza – evidence against contagion". J.Roy.Soc.Med., 83: 258–261.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help);
  16. ^ Hoyle, Fred (2000). Astronomical Origins of Life: Steps towards Panspermia. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Press.